GW’s Tyranid Codex Preview: What’s Changed?

By James Rodriguez | October 31st, 2017 | Categories: News / Rumors, Tyranids, Warhammer 40k

Tyranid Carnifex Wal HorWe got a new Tyranids preview yesterday from Games Workshop, and there’s some big changes on the way for how the bugs work on the table top! 

Games Workshop is previewing the Tyranids all week, and from the looks of it there’s some big, big changes incoming. Let’s take a look at what the updated Synapse, Instinctive Behavior, and the Shadow in the Warp.

Tyranids Synapse

Synapse allows units to automatically pass Morale tests if they are within 12″ of any friendly <Hive Fleet> units with this ability. This used to only have an 8″ range, and the extra 4″ should make it a lot easier to position your models strategically for attacking/defending while still ensuring they’re in the bubble you need them in to prevent more model loss.

Tyranids Shadow in the Warpc

Shadow in the Warp is getting a big range increase. Enemy Psykers must subtract 1 from any Psychic tests they make if they are within 18″ of any units with this ability. But, Tyranid Psykers are not affected. This is a big change, increasing the range by 10″ from the previous version.

Tyranids Instinctive Behaviour

Instinctive Behaviour has been completely reworded. This ability now comes into effect if the <Hive Fleet> unit with this ability is at least 24″ away from any friendly <Hive Fleet> Synapse unit, compared to the old rule where it was the range of the Synapse bubble. If you are outside of that 24″ range you must subtract 1 from hit rolls made for when shooting any target other that the nearest visible enemy unit. Additionally, it must subtract 2 from its charge roll if it declares a charge against any unit other than the nearest enemy unit. You’re no longer limited to only shooting or charging the nearest enemy unit, instead you just suffer a penalty.

This is a great way to show the hive mind of the Tyranids, and ensuring that you’re running the hordes that are ever so common with a Tyranid army. Strategically place your units with Synapse and you should be able to sweep the table without having to worry about Instinctive Behavior coming into effect.

tyranids eternal crusade hor wal

The following rumored rules teasers for Codex: Tyranids were spotted over on The Tyranid Hive, and there is a ton of new Warlord and Hive Fleet Traits that were teased. This is just a rumor, so make sure you add plenty of salt.

salt pile

Here’s a few more tasty morsels that are supposedly from the new Tyranids Codex (edited for grammar and completeness):

I dont have the numbers but there are many reductions in costs for big bug melee and ranged weapons. eg. massive scything are now 10pts. massive scything talons in a pair are cheaper too (cant remember exact number). monstrous scything talons are much cheaper too. carnifex comes stock with tresher scythe which is now zero points and is the same wording as the hive tyrant. which is, it makes its profile attacks, which in the codex is 4, and then also makes the tail attack, which is now 1d3 attacks


  • 30 inch norm crown that negates the effect of IB, but doesn’t give you anything else.
  • there is a relic for any character that gives either +1S, +1A or +1T during fight phase. roll dice to see which buff
  • a relic venom cannon. same stats as a venom cannon except d6 shots. but if the target is within 12″ it auto hits and always wounds on 2+

Tyranid Psychic Powers


  • Psychic scream, WC5, Targets nearest enemy within 18″ does d3 mortal wounds. if the target is a psyker, also roll 2d6. if the value is higher than the enemy psyker’s leadership, the enemy psyker loses 1 spell at random
  • paroxysm WC5, target enemy unit within 12″ of the psyker fights last. (there’s a whole big ass block of text here talking about exceptions and what not)
  • *cant remember the name* target unit within 36″ of the psyker essentially gains synapse
    warp blast is the same except at a unit of 6 it deals d3+3 instead of d3+d3

General Unit Rules & More:

  • swarmlord is NOT leviathan keyword. i caused some confusion from my wrongly reported warlord traits. swarmlord has the re-set up your warlord before the game starts one. the leviathan trait is in fact this:
    1 per battle round. you can reroll a single hit/wound/dmg /advance charge or saving throw for the wl
  • old eyeball 200 pts. 9w character add 1 roll to hit if charged
    extra attack now on 6 only
    doesn’t degrade
  • tyrand our lord and savior
    T7 12 wounds -1attack 4++
    synpase 18 inch
  • dakkadevs are 6 shots
  • Zoanthrope group of 6 +3 mortal wound damage on smite
  • Tyrant guard plus 1 attack
  • Genestealers bs4, got flesh hook as option
  • New ability: Infestion -can put 4 nodes in ur own deploy area , if enemy near it , it disappears. u can pop up from any of the 4 nodes as per normal ds/reserve. either or option, lose run and charge but gain 4+ armor save
  • Toxicr same ish \ tox lash are 2ap
  • Tyranofex same ish. \ a spray is 2d6, rupture is 3 strength 10 3ap d6 damage
  • Exocrine same
  • red terror -1 attack -1 wep skill
  • Harpy: point same ish. Heavy venom canon are now d3 S9 Ap2 3damage
  • Tyranocyte: cheaper as Deathspitter cheaper
  • Mawloc: same ish new weapon, bio rattle Strength user, ap1 1 damage, toxinspike, strength 1 d3 damage , always wound on 2 but not on vehicles
  • Stinger salvos are now 24 inches, so that is factored into every existing model that can have them. eg. slight cost increase for everything that has them
  • Crone Lost 1 attack. Tentaclids are now 4 shot.
  • A lot of weapons cost are slightly cheaper and inbuilt into the base cost of units that only can have them.
  • tyrant guard, scything talons are still 0. rending claws are still 2. boneswords are still 4. crushing claws are 12 (yay i guess)
  • carnifexes have a point reduction. exocrines have a minor one. tyrannocyte has a sizeable one too. warriors are still the same. zoanthropes are the same. haruspex has a big one. biovores are the same. the spore mine rules are the same too. hiveguard are either the same or has an inconsequential decrease in points.
  • hive tyrant is now t7, 12W. wings will have deepstrike. has a base 4++. down one attack [to 4]. didnt manage to see the pointage or the wargear options. no idea if monstrous rending claws are still a thing. hive tyrants can still take MRC
  • Swarmlord does still have hive commander, and is t7, 12w, 4++. his blade parry makes it 3++. no other notable change
  • old one eye is is now 9 wounds. 200 pts. hits of 6 generate one additional attack. can be equipped with a scything talons relic that +1s ap-3, 3dmg, +1 attack. uses behemoth warlord trait
  • Neurothrope is now HQ, a character and no longer part of a zoanthrope unit. zoanthropes within 6″ of a neurothrope reroll 1s for psychic tests. the spirit leech thing now only heals 1 wound for a zoanthrope unit withint 6″ neurothrope is cheap. i want to say 45 but i’m not 100% certain.
  • maleceptors deal 3 mortal wounds if we roll a 6 on that weird aoe ability. it knows 2 spells and can cast and deny 2 spells. also t7. also 4++
    maleceptors total pointage including wargear is 172. T7, 12W
  • venomthropes and zoans are still fielded as units of 3 venomthropes when in grp of 3 also affect monsters. when in a grp of 6, the aura becomes 6″.
  • genestealers remain the same. but have an option of getting +1 armour but they lose swift and deadly. (wtf GW)
  • no changes to raveners..
  • tyrannocyte is now 100 pts. 5pts for each deathspitter.
  • exocrine with all wargear is 210 or something like that. minor points decrease
  • tyranofex is 185 pts.  rupture cannon is 47 or 49. rupture cannon profile is heavy 3, s10 ap-3 d6 damage. thats all. no more funky “if it hits both..blablabla”
  • there are now 3 seperate carnifex entries. 1.) Carnifex 2.) Screamer killer 3.) Thornback carnifex including 2x monstrous scything talons clock in total at 83 pts.. the 2 pairs of monstrous scything talons for carnifexes are 15 pts, 1 pair is 14 pts. yes.. i know. dont ask me why.
    there are individual upgrades for basic carnifexes. +1BS, +1 attack on the charge, -1 to hit from enemy shooting. on the charge carnifexes and screamer killers now get +1 WS on top of the current battering ram rule screamer killers come stock with “bio plasmic scream” which is 0 points, 12″ assault 6(not sure on the number), S7 ap-1, 1damage. screamer killers come stock with 2 monstrous scything talons as well. 90 pts in total dont have much info on the thornback other than at the end of combat roll d6 for each enemy unit in combat with it. on 6 deal 1 mortal wound the carnifex biomorpth that gives -1 to hit to enemy shooters does not stack with venomthrope. said biomorph is 10 pts.
  • Carnifex Biomorphs:
    -1 to hit from enemy shooting biomorph is 10 pts
    +1 attack on the charge is 8 pts
    +1 BS is 10 points

Tyranid Haruspex Wal Hor

Tyranid Warlord Traits

Behemoth: Wound roll of 6 in fight phase. that attack +1 dmg
Kraken: 1 friendly kraken unit within 6 of wlt, can fight first in fight phase even without charging
Leviathan : 1 per battle round. you can reroll a single hit/wound/dmg /advance charge or saving throw for the wl.
Gorgon: end of fight phase. roll d6 for every enemy within 1″ of warlord. on 4+, that unit suffer a MW.
Jormungandr: Enemy unit dont gain bonus to saving throw for being in cover by attacks from wl, or friendly Jormungandr units within 3 of wl.
Hydra: Beginning of each of your turn, roll a dice for each wound WL suffered, on a 6, heal.
Kronos: Enemy psyker fail a psychic test within 18 of your wl, they suffer D3 MW

Tyranid Hive Fleet Traits (apply to everything)

Behemoth: reroll failed charges
Kraken: can charge after falling back
Gorgon: reroll 1s to hit for fight phase
jormungandr: always have cover bonus (i’m not sure if i read this right)
hydra: reroll misses against units with less models during fight phase
kronos: reroll 1s to hit for shooting, IF the unit doesnt move
Leviathan: looks to be the same as salamander tactic but i’m not 100% sure

26 Tyranid Stratagems

1cp the enemy below (jormungandr)
use strat when jor inf set up, put it undergorund. whenever u set up raveners mawloc trygon or trygon prime. any no of its unit can be set up within the tunnels, 3 inch from burrowing unit ,9 inch away enemy.

1cp brute force (behemoth)
use when benemoth unit complete charge . roll d6 for each behemoth charging model within 1inch of enemy. each roll of 6, 1 MW on enemy unit. 2+ for a behemoth monster charging
(30 man gant charge in, roll d6 for all, on a 6 chuck a mw)

1cp war on all fronts (leviathan)
fight phase. select enemy within 1inch of 1 flying and 1 nonflying leviathan unit. can reroll hits & wound rolls of 1 for levi attacks against the enemy unit

1cp Against Shadow (Kronos)
enemy psyker attempts to cast a spell within 24 inch of kronos unit. that psyker can only use 1 dice for his psyk test.

1cp Hypertoxicity (Gorgon)
fight phase. choose gorgon wiht toxin sac, the biomorph do 1 additional dmg on wounds roll of 5+ instead of 6

2cp Endless Swarm
Select a destroyed unit of gants, horms, garg or any hydra inf unit that has been completely destroyted. Add an identical unit to your army and set it up as reinforcement wholly 6inch of any board edge , more than 9 inch from enemy

1cp Opportunistic Advance
Use in move phase for advancing Kraken unit (noFly units), can double number you roll for advance and add to the move characteristic

3cp Call the Brood
end of move. add a new unit of up to 5 genestealers, wholly within 6 of a brood or infestation node but more than 9 from enemy

3Cp adrenaline surge
end of fight phase. select a nid unit from army, can immediately fight again

2cp Digestive Denial
After deployment but before turn start. choose a piece of terrain othre than fortifciation.
Units fullywithin or on this piece of terrain do not gain any bonus to their saving throws for being in cover…..

Cpt Ventris tyranids


2cp single minded annihilation
end of shoot phase, choose inf unit, shoot again lol (devil gants/hiveguard lol)

1cp grisly feast
morale phase. select ripper or haru. enenemy within 6 inch must add 1 to morale test

2cp pathogenic slime
shooting phase. select nid mon. increase dmg of its attack by for this phase. lol 2dmg dakka flyrant/exo/tyrannofex

3cp sporefield
after both armies deploy, add up 2 unit of spore mines as reinf, more than 12 inch from enemy

1cp invisible hunter
move phase. lictor within 1 inhc of enemy. that model can fall back shoot and charge.

1cp power of the hive mind
end of psyk phase, choose a nid spyker that casted earlier, can cast 1 additional power

1cp pheromone trail
choose when nid inf set up as reinf/reserve. if got lictor on battlefield, you can set up wholly within 6 inch of lictor and more than 9 from enemy

2cp death frenzy
use when nid char die, it can shoot again as if it were shooting phase, or fight again as if fight phase before its removal

1cp overrun
use when nid unit destroys an unit in fight, and not within 3 inch of enemy. that you unit can forgo consolidation, but move and advance as if movement phase but cannot move within 1inch of enemy model

1cp voracious appetite
fight phase, nid mon or character is chosen to fight.can reroll all failed wounds for that model til end of phase

1cp caustic blood
start of fight phase.select nid unit, roll d6 when a model dies, on 6 enemy suffer mw

2cp rapid regen
end of mov, heal d3

1cp scorch bugs
shoot phase
seelect nid, +1 to wound for all feshborer or fleshborer hive attacks

1cp feeder tendrils
when gene lictor toxi venom kills a chara in fight phase, gain d3 cp

1cp implant attack
use aft nid unit fight in fight phase. roll d6 for each wounded enemy model and not slain. 2+ suffer , model suffers a mw

1/3cp bounty of hive fleet
artefact thing

1cp metabolic movement 
use in move , after a nid unit as movemed. you can move that unit again includ advance. however roll a d6 for every model, on a 1 , unit gets a MW. cannot shoot or charge that turn.


If these rumors are true, all the new tidbits look interesting for sure.The Tyranids are really looking like a force to be reckoned with, and an army that just won’t go away.  But, once again, these are just rumors, we don’t know anything for sure yet until GW’s previews start.

These are some big changes on the way for Tyranid players. What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to the changes? Or do you think the requirements for Instinctive Behavior have become a little much? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author: James Rodriguez

I'm a huge fan of anything tabletop. I play strictly Chaos in Warhammer, and Imperial in anything Star Wars. I spent 8 years in the military. Now I'm happy to be a civilian working with a great group of people. "We are all tyrants. Do not fool yourself. We were bred for nothing else." -Mortarion
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